Monday, October 20, 2014

Jump Start Sports in Pittsburgh

 

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This fall we decided to take a break from our 2 years in the gymnastics program that Victoria loved and try something new…SOCCER!  We tried soccer once before, but after that experience, felt that two years old, was a little too young.  I think we swore off all organized team sports until she turned five because toddlers and team sports just don’t seem to mix well, or do they?

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I was given the opportunity to do a social media partnership with Jump Start Sports and we decided to rethink the idea of holding off on organized team sports.  Jump Start had a soccer program for 3 & 4 year olds called “The Hummingbird Soccer Program”.  This program was once a week from 5:30 – 6:30pm for 6 weeks.  The practices were held at Blueberry Hill Park in Franklin Park.  At the first practice, Victoria received her “uniform” a green shirt and met her coaches.  She was a little shy at first (shocking I know), but they were very friendly and she warmed up to Coach Roland and Coach Erin. 

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I loved that there were two coaches and you could tell they were very experienced with young kiddos.  Every direction was fun and full of energy, the soccer drills were very relatable.  The kids would “walk their dog”, play red light/green light, park the ball in “the garage” and many other fun ways to engage the kids in soccer drills.  I also loved that there were plenty of water breaks, which was perfect for short attention spans!  After about 30 minutes of soccer drills, the kids would divide up into four teams and each coach would run a soccer game, usually with about    5 vs. 5  per game.  It took Victoria awhile to understand and become comfortable with the game part of practice. The games were the exact swarm of bees that you imagine when you hear of 3 year old playing soccer, all of them running to the ball, all at once.  There are more boys than girls, so it took her by surprised that she got knocked down a few times, but by the end of the first game, she was starting to get the hang of it.

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The coaches were very good about reminding the kids which goal they were trying to score in and allowing everyone a chance to start with the ball.  There are not as many water breaks during the game portion of practice, so Victoria did become a little distracted (by her piney, airplanes or other balls on the field), but was easily redirected and it also helped that the world’s largest (at least to Victoria) sandbox was within view, because that was the BIG reward for a successful practice.

So, while she was not the perfect soccer player at every game, she did come a long way from her 2 year old soccer playing days, and the coaches’ enthusiasm and organization played a big role in her success.  If we had the opportunity and it worked with our family schedule, we would most definitely do Jump Start Sports again.  It was a great organization to be a part of and I am so glad they are in the Pittsburgh area.  They offer a variety of different sports, I would love for her to try out t-ball someday.   We were very happy with our experience with Jump Start Sports and would recommend this organization to friends and family.  Thank You Jump Start Sports for giving us this fun opportunity!!!

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Reilly’s Summer Seat Harvest Festival

We have been busy and I have had a ton of posts running through my head, but since it is October, I should really be posting about the fall fun we have been having around here.

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We actually got started a little early this year.  We decided on a whim to go to Reilly's Summer Seat Farm the last weekend in September.  The BOGO Groupon was also a huge help in making this decision, ha.  We had been there once before, in 2012 with our good friends from Ohio.

We love this farm, there is so much to see and do, but since it is one of the best North of Pittsburgh and there was a Groupon, everyone else had the same idea.  It was crowded, but Groupon or not this place is very crowded during their fall festival.  The weather was absolutely beautiful the weekend we went.  Victoria wore a short sleeve pumpkin dress and Amelia was in a onesie.  You really cannot beat 75+ degrees for fall!

We always do the hayride first.  It is a longer hayride to the pumpkin patch, we kept Amelia in the baby carrier and Victoria asked about 10000 questions while we were on the ride.  The patch is huge!  We never pick huge pumpkins at the patch because carrying them to the car was no short walk.  So the girls picked two small pumpkins that we will use to decorate at our neighborhood party tomorrow.  I always have this idea that I can get the cutest pictures while out in the patch, but I should know that this is just like taking beach pictures, they never really go as planned.  This time, the sun was out in full force (which I cannot complain) so we have a lot of squinty eyes, but I was able to capture Amelia’s first experience at the patch, which was the important thing!

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We took the hayride back down the hill to the harvest festival.  There is sooo much to do there, we never stay to do it all or we’d be there until close.  The first must-do thing is the tube slide, Victoria LOVES this so much.  She had a dress on, so we told her to go down head first and our little daredevil had no problems with doing this. Ha! 

She roasted some s’mores with daddy and then was off to get her face painted.  She picked a lady bug, “I want a lady bug for grammy!”  The face paint didn’t last too long because when you use the wrong kind of paint for faces it becomes hard and itchy, got that Reilly’s? Ha.  She explored the petting zoo and then ventured through the corn maze, her other favorite!

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We stopped by the Boo Barn for the second time, the balloon bounce house and played some games in the witch house before leaving.  We were home in time to watch most of the Steelers game, which wasn’t really worth watching…but they won last week!

It was a beautiful day to spend together as a family.  Fall activities are my favorite!

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